Special counsel urges Supreme Court to deny Trump's request for delay in immunity case

Trump wants the court to stay an appeals court rejection of his immunity claim.

February 14, 2024, 6:55 PM

Special counsel Jack Smith filed a brief Wednesday urging the Supreme Court to deny former President Donald Trump's request to stay his federal election subversion case from moving forward as Trump appeals his claim that he should be immune from prosecution.

In the filing, Smith requested if the Supreme Court does intend to hear Trump's appeal that they grant the review now and go into an expedited briefing schedule that would have them issue their ruling during this term.

PHOTO: In this Aug. 1, 2023, file photo, Special Counsel Jack Smith makes a statement to reporters in Washington, D.C.
In this Aug. 1, 2023, file photo, Special Counsel Jack Smith makes a statement to reporters in Washington, D.C.
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters, FILE

"The charged crimes strike at the heart of our democracy. A President’s alleged criminal scheme to overturn an election and thwart the peaceful transfer of power to his successor should be the last place to recognize a novel form of absolute immunity from federal criminal law," Smith's team said in the filing.

"Applicant seeks a stay to prevent proceedings in the district court from moving towards trial, which the district court had scheduled to begin on March 4, 2024, before applicant’s interlocutory appeal necessitated postponement of that date. Applicant cannot show, as he must to merit a stay, a fair prospect of success in this Court," the filing continued.

PHOTO: United States Supreme Court building
STOCK IMAGE/Getty Images

The Supreme Court had asked for the special counsel to file his response by the afternoon of Feb. 20.

After that filing, Trump's legal team will get a chance to file a reply, after which the court can act on Trump's request at any time, at its discretion.

Trump pleaded not guilty to charges of undertaking a "criminal scheme" to overturn the results of the 2020 election in August and is seeking the dismissal of the case on the grounds that he has "absolute immunity" from prosecution for actions taken while serving in the nation's highest office.

Last week, a three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected Trump's claim of presidential immunity, clearing the way for Trump to seek to appeal the issue to the Supreme Court.

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